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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Katara Hospitality mulling $1.6 billion offshore hotel in Qatar

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All images courtesy of M. Castedo Architects

A New York architect has designed a 1,000-room offshore hotel for one of Qatar’s largest hospitality firms, a US$1.6 billion “icon” for the 2022 World Cup.

Manuel Castedo told Doha News he spent nine months designing the Silver Pearl Hotel, a pair of 30-story semicircle towers connected by an atrium. Unlike artificial islands such as the Pearl-Qatar, the hotel would be supported by piers that allow water to flow beneath it, Castedo said.

The exterior would be constructed of stainless steel and glass, illuminated at night by LED lights that Castedo said would create the illusion of a shimmering pearl.

“The idea is not to duplicate a Hilton that you could find in New York,” he said. “The idea is to create something very separate and unique.”

This is M. Castedo Architects’ first project in Qatar, although the owner said his firm has previously designed buildings in Saudi Arabia.

He added that Doha is “known for pushing the envelope” among architects, and that he hopes that the Silver Pearl Hotel will be one of several “icons” constructed in the country for the upcoming international football tournament.

Sharq Village
Sharq Village

The designs were prepared for Katara Hospitality, which owns a collection of hotels in Qatar and abroad, including the Sheraton Doha, Sharq Village and the Ritz-Carlton.

Katara would still need to agree to fund the project as well as commit to the construction of the infrastructure, and obtain the necessary approvals before the vision becomes a reality, Castedo said.

Katara would also have to decide on a location. Castedo said he’s presented two possibilities: one just off the coast in Doha Bay, or his preferred option of approximately 1.5km offshore.

Katara Hospitality officials were not available for comment.

Guests would access the hotel via a vehicle causeway, by private yacht or helicopter. All of the rooms face outwards onto the water, with the common areas furnished and decorated “in the spirit of the Arabic tradition,” Castedo said.

“Even though it looks space-aged, the whole project is meant to showcase the culture of Qatar,” he said. “It’s a paradise in the middle of the ocean.”

World Cup demand

For illustrative purposes only

The number of hotels planned and under construction in Qatar is growing rapidly as hospitality operators prepare for the spike in demand driven by the World Cup.

Official figures show the volume of visitors to the Gulf country is also quickly increasing. The country attracted a record 1.5 million guests in the first half of the year, a 7-percent jump.

Nevertheless, some predict that there will be an insufficient number of tourists both in the lead up and aftermath of the tournament to support all these new hotels.

Qatar’s hospitality industry is currently dominated by high-end, luxury offerings. The country’s hotel room inventory has grown by an average of 13.4 percent annually and reached approximately 13,600 rooms by the middle of the year, according to professional services Deloitte.

Thoughts?

21 COMMENTS

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Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago

LOOLL. 1.6 billion USD for a hotel? I think someone told him that Qatar is squandering money on unnecessary projects so let’s seize the opportunity and try to get a slice of the cake.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
7 years ago

I’ve decided that as sharks need to swim live, someone must have decided that Qatar needs to build.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
7 years ago

More and more luxury hotel projects for 2022 and no news of budget hotels / hostels being planned or built for 2022. I wonder if they have,slightly!!!, just maybe!!!, miscalculated the crowd that will be coming for 2022 ?

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

Agreed. It seems like Qatar wants to build more for fellow GCC tourists in general, not specifically for WC2022. An adjustment in planning (what’s that?) that maybe includes a demographic study is definitely in line. I’m sure plenty of market data exists from recent WC’s that would be useful. I remember reading an article about the last WC highlighting the fact that visiting fans were actually renting rooms in “red light” hotels in droves, not for the hanky panky, but because those hotels were the cheapest. I think acknowledging that most football fans are looking for the most economical deal would drastically change the hotel plans for 2022.

Ali El Ali
Ali El Ali
7 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

The aim is at GCC states who can afford high room rates , why rely on foreign international travelers while GCC neighbors will afford the lavish style of the world cup for the whole 40 days . Think about it , Asian games and previous other small tournaments . plus we have to show off 😛 we are good at it !!

The Reporter
The Reporter
7 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

I will repeat (yet) again that normal joe-public football fans do not feature in Qatar’s planning for WC2022. This will be a WC for corporates and other VIP’s only. Qatar is planning for a post WC tourist industry comprising of 5* GCC and ME visitors only, who presumably will visit for no other reason than a change of shopping mall (and there will be lots of empty ones for a relaxed shopping trip). Whoever is doing the planning must me on another planet.

Bornrich
Bornrich
7 years ago

Those crazy New York architects. I wonder if they were sitting around eating bagels one lunchtime…

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
7 years ago

Don’t worry, It’s never going to leave the rendering stage. According to the Architect’s website, lots of nice boutique lobbies and refurbishment of the Algerian and Spanish consulates in New York, to name a few “Similar” projects…………………reminds me of a paper napkin holder or a large floating asprin anyway…….would make more sense in sticking to the cruise ships plan. Lots of time to book them in advance now. That way you could have budget ships as well as the luxury liners.

Ben
Ben
7 years ago

All they want to do is make fancy this and fancy that in time for 2022 but are a miles out of touch with travelling football fans basic needs

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
7 years ago

I am curious to know where all the people attending functions in the conference center are going to park their cars. Will there be an underwater carpark too?

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

No need. The future version of Doha will run solely on public transit….. right? 🙂

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago

Katara didn’t commission this rendering, the architects behind the project are trying to pitch it to Katara. And it’s typical to issue a press release to trump up the project before they make their sales pitch… Given Doha has been axing projects left and right there is very little chance this project will go through

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Yes they did. A company doesn’t spend 9 months of man hours designing something hoping someone will listen.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

No they didn’t and yes they would… It’s called creating a sales pitch … And this does have to be Doha specific … This project could have been pitched to Dubai or a resort in Macau and got rejected before it got repackaged for a new potential client

The Reporter
The Reporter
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

What you see is probably 2 or 3 months work – no more than that, and it will have been instigated by some Sheikh with totally unrealistic expectations in a coffee bar at midnight.

The Reporter
The Reporter
7 years ago

What constitutes a “visitor” in Qatar, because I’ll bet the vast majority of “visitors” don’t head for the nearest 5* hotel. All the reports state that Qatar will have an unsustainable 5* room count after WC2022 so to spend this amount on a 5* hotel is madness. Dubaii crash here we come.

Erwin Bantayan
Erwin Bantayan
7 years ago

Another landmark in the making… Nice one for Qatar 2022…

sadam
sadam
7 years ago

quick! we need to hire labors who can swim to build this “icon”

Coco
Coco
7 years ago

What final price? Jib discount, yalla!
*watches indian man type frantically on a calculator*

Eduardo Kawak
Eduardo Kawak
7 years ago

Dubai and Abu Dhabi will be more affordable than Doha during the WC2022 (accommodation, food, nightlife, etc…). I think many Joe Public fans who actually manage to get tickets will fly in, fly out on game day.

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